Super Jake Turns 16 | He Lived, He is Loved, He is Missed

I don’t make a habit of posting about my kids birthdays. I don’t know why, but it just hasn’t become a regular topic on this mom blog for me.

But I do make exceptions for Jacob. Today is Jacob’s 16th birthday and instead of gifting him with a new car and the promise of a trip to the DMV for his license, I’m left with few options. A blog post seems to be the most appropriate.

When Jacob died, I worried that no one would remember him. He was only 4-years-old and we didn’t have a huge circle of friends at that time. We were fairly new to our church, new to his preschool, and new to Orlando. That meant that people didn’t know him.

I became obsessed with journaling about him and dropping that link anywhere I thought I could get away with it.

I wanted people to know he lived and that he was loved and that he is missed.

I still do.

It’s why I run the Princess 10K in his name, and why I’ll keep doing it as long as I can.

If you feel so inclined to donate in his name, I’d love to see 16 donations of $16 in honor of his birthday today.


Jacob lived.

He was a lover of all trains, but especially Thomas the Tank Engine.

He loved the metal Thomas trains you could buy at Target & could tell you what train you handed him in a dark room by touch.

He hated loud noises and was not a fan of the Heffalumps and Woozels.

He loved fighting Zurg and his bad buddies on Space Ranger Spin at Walt Disney World and planned to be Buzz Lightyear for his 4th Halloween.

He was a sweet, quirky, opinionated little dude who would wag his finger in your face if there was something he wanted you to stop doing.


Jacob was loved.

From the moment we knew he was coming into our lives, his father and I knew we would never be the same.

He was the first grandson and made quite the impression on us all when he came into this world- and quickly demanded life-saving attention. Ahem.

That’s one way to make an entrance, though I don’t recommend it!

He was so funny with his love of Scooby Doo and Christmas songs.

He was Luke’s first best friend.

He was Claire’s protector.

He was my first born.

He was just the sweetest little man you could ever imagine, with a gentle soul and a kind heart.


Jacob is missed.

Every day, he is missed.

When we say good night or good morning to our children he is missed.

When we celebrate a first (like Luke’s first day in high school- omgee, this is happening!) he is missed.

When we ride the train at Disney World, he is missed.

All aboard the Walt Disney World Railroad (this one is for Jake!)

When we sit down for dinner, go to church, run an errand, yell up the stairs for a child, pick a movie, or make plans to travel someplace new— he is missed.


Always, he is missed.

If you look closely, you’ll see 5 Holliday children at the most magical place on earth. <3


  • christy says:

    I am so very sorry for your loss. Hugging mine tighter today.

  • Heidi says:

    This is a beautiful tribute, Patty! I don’t know you and I don’t know how Jake died, but I’m so very sorry for your loss. It’s so unnatural for a parent to lose a child, and I”m sure it’s a hurt that never goes away. (I lost my best friend to cancer and it’s also a hurt that sticks there with you for always.) I’m fighting back tears as I type this. Happy birthday to your dear boy! I can tell that he was loved and is missed!

  • Renee says:

    So sorry Patty..I lost my son last year…and it never gets easier…love and hugs to you.

  • Pam Frost says:

    Thank you for sharing this Patty. We lost my son’s best friend who was 9 on Christmas Day last year and I think of her EVERY SINGLE DAY. And she wasn’t my child. It breaks my heart for her family and as a parents I don’t know how moms go on each day. You always have a smile and a positive outlook and I don’t know how. It’s so great that you honor him on this special day. I know he is missed. No doubt.

  • Kathleen says:

    Hugs to you Patty, I always enjoy your blog posts. I am crying now reading this. One of my children has made some choices that I never expected and it has been hard, but she is still with us and healthy. I will give her a big hug when I see her.

  • Oh Patty, I had no idea. I hope you get extra hugs today.

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Patty Holliday

Patty is a 40-ish mother of four living in Virginia. A bit geeky, sometimes sarcastic, lover of a candid confession. She's trying to love running, she swears. But much like her marathon, it’s taking a very long time. Ahem. She's searching for the perfect way to balance family, work, travel, and fitness. Perfect defined as high on fun, low on guilt.